Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Blood Star

Henricia leviuscula

The Blood Star is a brilliant red to reddish-orange color with a texture similar to fine sandpaper. Their small disc is commonly surrounded by 5 rays but can occasionally have 4-6. It is a relatively small species, rarely getting larger than 12 cm.

Range & Habitat

Blood Stars are from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska to Baja California. They are found in crevices, caves, protected sides of rocks, caves, and pools from the low intertidal zone to 1,200 ft.

Conservation Status: Not Evaluated

This species has yet to be evaluated by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


In the Wild: Sponges, plankton, and small bacteria they capture in mucus and sweep into their mouth.

In Human Care: Melt, fish gel, squid

Life Span

In the Wild: unknown
In Human Care: unknown

Fun Facts about the Blood Star

  • The only threats to these sea stars are by birds and by anthropogenic causes. Many beach tourists take the stars home not understanding that the star’s vivid color fades when it dies.
  • They can regenerate a lost arm if a portion of the central disk remains. They possess this ability even though sea stars have no brain and lack of any blood.


Brietzke, C. and Starzomski, B. (2013). Blood Star. Retrieved May 27, 2021 from

Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2021. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Retrieved May 27, 2021 from

 Oregon Coast Aquarium (Ed.). (2021). Blood Star. Retrieved May 27, 2021, from

Updated June 13, 2023
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